When I did a blog on Waking up drenched in sweat? Here's what might be really going on, I thought that one of the reasons I was waking up sweaty was because of sleep apnea. Of course, being the typical male, I haven't really gone to the doctor to see what the reasons are for my sweating, but I think I have ruled out sleep apnea, but then again, I'm not sure. In an article entitled "How Do Gay Bears Deal With Having Sleep Apnea," David Dancer opens up about his experiences with big men and their machines.
Larger gay men sometimes carry baggage that others don't … It's often physical, and it comes in the form of a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine, a mask connected via hose to a ventilator that forces you to breathe at night if you have a condition called sleep apnea.
It's well-known that being overweight can be bad for one's health, causing everything from Type 2 Diabetes to high blood pressure and cholesterol. It can also be the root of sleep apnea, which causes involuntary pauses in breathing while sleeping that last anywhere from ten seconds to several minutes. Sleep apnea is more prevalent among men than women, and of the approximately 3 to 7 percent of the afflicted adult population, the most common cause is being overweight or obese.
It's hard to quantify how many bears have sleep apnea, but Dr. Lawrence D Mass, a physician and co-founder of HIV/AIDS health services organization Gay Men's Health Crisis, has studied the connection. He himself identifies as a bear who suffers from the condition, and has praised the benefits of CPAP machines. "It's a common problem, primarily among those of us who are stocky, husky, chunky, burly, overweight, fat,—ie, bears," he wrote in an article for American Bear Magazine. "Start talking about it in any gathering of bears and you will quickly discover that you are not alone. If the bear next to you doesn't himself have it, he will know a bear who does." There are memes about it and blogs and forum discussions for bears with sleep apnea abound. – vice.com
I learned a bit from going to the blogs and forum discussions from above. It's also great that non-bears that use a CPAP and have sleep apnea shared their stories, too. I do need to be cautious and not self-diagnose this when I can make a doctor's appointment and see if I do have sleep apnea.
David Dancer continues his sleep apnea story …
I myself remember my first encounter with a CPAP machine-using bear as if it were yesterday. Days after moving to Los Angeles, in the summer of 2010, I arranged for a late-night play date with a West Hollywood bear. When we transitioned to post-sex bedtime and spooning, I vaguely recall a murmur of "I sleep with this" before passing out. It wasn't until the next morning that I realized something was wrong as I woke up, looked to my right, and screamed. What happened to this man?! Is he in a coma? And WHAT is his name?! After learning the mask strapped to his face was to help him not die in his sleep, I was relieved… and embarrassed, to boot. – vice.com
Here's a video mentioning the pros and cons of using a CPAP machine.
To learn more about what David Dancer has to say about sleep apnea while gay, head over to vice.com where he shares with us what he learned about the cost of the CPAP machines, bears adjusting to using them, his Bear411 conversations, and the dangers of sleep apnea like depression, fatal car accidents, heart disease, and hypertension.
Are you a bear with a CPAP?
Are you a man in love with a CPAP bear?
How is it sleeping with the machine?
Are you a non-bear that uses A CPAP machine?
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